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El Paso's Airport Turns into Makeshift Shelter for Released Migrants Amid Surge

Townhall Media/Julio Rosas

EL PASO, TEXAS — The streets of downtown El Paso are not the only place you'll see evidence of Border Patrol being forced to do hundreds of mass releases of migrants who illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. The city's only airport has become an ad-hoc shelter for people who have been able to secure flights to continue to their final destinations.

Once a common sight at the international airports in Del Rio and McAllen, El Paso's airport has turned into another staging ground since local shelters are completely full. Cots have been provided for those staying overnight, but Deputy City Manager Mario D'Agostino said they are asking people not to go to the airport until 12 hours before their flight.

"We know what El Paso is. It has one airport. There are limited numbers of flights out of the city. We also have a couple of bus terminals...but the availability of finding same-day travel is very difficult right now," said D'Agostino.

In the baggage claim portions of El Paso's airport, the processed and released migrants fill the benches and sometimes are on the ground. One woman from Nicaragua asked me if I had an extra coat to give her as she only had a sweater and an American Red Cross blanket.

The migrants who are ready to board their planes have their own security line separate from the general boarding and TSA PreCheck lines.

Townhall Media/Julio Rosas

Townhall Media/Julio Rosas

Townhall Media/Julio Rosas

The ones who make it to the airport are the lucky ones, as the number of migrants sleeping on the street in the elements has surged in recent days. The expected bigger influx when Title 42 is removed next week is causing great concern for border towns, and they have called for the federal government to secure the border, not just release people more quickly.


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